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2017 Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards acceptance speeches roundup

The 2017 Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards judges and winners. Back row, L-R: Judge Pauletta Bracy, Matthew Cordell, Nikki Grimes, Steve Sheinkin, Angie Thomas, Judge Sheila Geraty, Deborah Heiligman, Melissa Sweet, Sydney Smith, Chair Julie Roach, Richard Peck, Joanne Schwartz. Front: Ashley Bryan. Photo: Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe.All week...
      

Freedom Over Me: Ashley Bryan's 2017 BGHB Picture Book Award Speech

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Editor’s note: Rather than writing formal speeches, Ashley Bryan speaks to what moves him at the moment in connection with an event. At the Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards, he led us in animated and memorable recitations of several of Langston Hughes’s poems as part of his acceptance speech. We are...
      

Town Is by the Sea: Author Joanne Schwartz's 2017 BGHB Picture Book Honor Speech

Because I grew up in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, this book is very dear to my heart, and so achieving this kind of recognition has particular significance. There would have been no one more delighted to see the response to this book than my father, to whom the book is...
      

Town Is by the Sea: Illustrator Sydney Smith's 2017 BGHB Picture Book Honor Speech

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Sheila Barry, the wonderful and clever co-publisher at Groundwood Books, must have known, when she casually handed me the manuscript, that I would have no choice. I would illustrate this book and I would work my ass off.I began right away and stopped only days before the book went to...
      

Wolf in the Snow: Matthew Cordell's 2017 BGHB Picture Book Honor Speech

Long before I became entrenched in the world of making sequential art for books, I spent much of my youth and young adulthood looking at and making art that hangs on a wall. Art that communicates its message within a single image. So, now and again, I still get an...
      

Vincent and Theo: Deborah Heiligman's 2017 BGHB Nonfiction Award Speech

What a joy it is to be in this room with this community.When Vincent van Gogh got his first and essentially only printed review, he was extremely pleased — and also knocked off balance. He’d been uneasy with praise since he was a child, destroying a drawing of a cat...
      

Some Writer!: Melissa Sweet's 2017 BGHB Nonfiction Honor Speech

It is an honor to be here with my friends and colleagues whose work inspires me. I feel, as E. B. White wrote in Charlotte’s Web, “It is deeply satisfying to win a prize in front of a lot of people.”When the idea for this book came to me, I...
      

Undefeated: Steve Sheinkin's 2017 BGHB Nonfiction Honor Speech

I always wanted to write a sports story, but it had to be the right one. That is, I wanted a story with edge-of-your-seat action, where you’re rooting so hard you shout at the page. But the story also had to be about something bigger, something more significant than the...
      

The Hate U Give: Angie Thomas's 2017 BGHB Fiction & Poetry Award Speech

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I stand before you tonight, completely stunned that I’ve won anything for a book I was so afraid to write; a book that was inspired by someone as controversial as Tupac Shakur. I’m even more stunned that I wrote a book.This is possibly blasphemous to say, but as a teen...
      

One Last Word: Nikki Grimes's 2017 BGHB Poetry & Fiction Honor Speech

One Last Word is a love letter from me to the poets of the Harlem Renaissance, and from those poets to a new generation of readers.I was born in Harlem, gave my first poetry reading at Countee Cullen Library in Harlem, and have stepped into the continuum of poets nourished...

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